:: Build a knowledgebase for decisionmaking
In GG offense is very strong and all characters can get knockdown from many of their combos. Doing your best to reverse the situation that follows is therefore very important!
Even on defense knowledge is the first and the most importrant step!
Even on defense one should start from risk-reward when making decisions!
Only from understanding what beats what will facilitate mindgames.
“What beats what” is not only about which moves you have that beat the opponents, it is broader than that. It’s about how you can make the best out of a riskfilled situation.
In 2D fighting games downback is the standard-alternative on defense, whereas overheads and throws are something that the opponent tries to break your defense with. Useful distinctions about what your opponents moves are is if they are:
- Mixups (aimed to break your downback)
e.g. Millias Badmoon (overhead), Bedmans 6H (crossup) and Sols Wild Throw (throw)
- Frametraps (aimed to kill your abare)
e.g. Sols 6P, Chipp cS to cS or Kys 5K to 5HS
- Pressure (aimed to continue attacking)
e.g. Kys 6K or Venoms Carcass Raid
Different characters have different moves that they can use when attacking. They also have different moves that they can use when defending. Therefore defense is very often about matchup-specifics because they are dependant on the interaction between the two characters and players. This is what mindgames are born from.
But even here there are some fundamental principles and techniques that can be learned and then later applied to matchups and opponents.
If you apply risk-reward to decisionmaking on defense you should ask yourself:
- What does the most damage in which situations?
- How does this change if the opponent has e.g. more or less tension?
- What alternatives do you have versus this and how do they change depending on the situation?
Once again it becomes a question of meter (life, tension, burst) and a question of positioning(midscreen, you in the corner, the opponent in the corner).
The answer to these questions becomes your decisionbase for your decisionmaking regarding risk-reward.
With that said, let us begin explaining by going back to Casestudy (2) because it is a classic high/low/throw-scenario:
– We stated that Sols empty jump-in 2D is a low mixup that also wins versus Kys reversal VT
– Now we imagine that Sol has above 50% tension.
– All of a sudden Sol can do 2D>Tyrant Rave>Combo for over 60% damage (and gets 25% tension back).
– If Ky did VT Sol still gets a strong punish (and even more tension).
– But IB 2D is still a response from Ky, since he either gets a punish or forces Sol to commit to options that require him to burn tension (and therefore also tension gain).
-Sol could have taken notice to this behavior and instead gone for a high or throw!
Tips for the overwhelmed: The idea of learning what converts all characters receive from a whole slew of setups can feel overwhelming. You can begin by simply playing versus people and trying to register what happened during the games and what starters were used.
::General defensive options
> FD (Faultless Defense)
- Gives you extra pushback (the opponent is pushed further away from you)
- Gives you extra blockstun (2f on the ground, up to 4f in the air)
- You take no chip damage
- Your guardbar does not increase
- Costs tension (and gives you 1 second cooldown to tension pulse)
The extra pushback (and blockstun) gives you more time to react to tick-throws (because they have to dash in and wait longer to be able to throw you). It can also make the opponents moves whiff in their gatlings (which sometimes enable punishes).
It differs between matchups, but in general it is good to FD an opponents first attacks.
> IB (Instant Block)
- Barely any pushback (the opponent remains close to you)
- You receive less blockstun(2-4f on the ground, 6-8f in the air)
- You receive a bit of tension and your tension pulse increases
- Your guard bar goes up
IBs useful areas differ depending on matchups, but it is good in general to go for IB on specific moves, e.g. Sols Bandit Revolver.
> General options
Learning how to use both FD and IB is important for those who want to become good players. You can use FD more universally, as long as you are aware that you are using it in exchange for your tension. You should only use IB if you know exactly why you are using it (because you have to return to neutral to IB and can therefore be hit by moves). Generally one could say that you want to FD the first attacks, and IB the last one in a string. This however changes depending on matchups.
Outside of different types of blocking there are the following general options on defense:
Throw (4HS or throw option-selects) are good in GG because throws have instant startup and can e.g. grab meaties on wake-up as long as the opponent is within throw range (and are not using anything that is throw invul.
If your opponent is outside of throw range a move will always come out, this can be used in different ways (often for counterhit starters).
Abare, or trying to do fast moves during your opponents offense is very important in GG.
Different characters have differently strong abare moves, both when it comes to startup (3-5f), hitboxes and gatling routes (e.g. large difference between 2p2p and 5p2p)
Abare can be baited and often leads to counterhit starters.
A good way of escaping from many situations (especially if you have a lot of tension for FD).
Though many characters have very few options after jumping (some have more). For some characters jumps are simply an option associated with less risk than e.g. abare, especially in combination with FD
In general if is easier for your opponent to figure out what you are trying to do after your jump, because it has less options compared to if you were to stay grounded.
DPs (e.g. Sols VV) and backdashes can be registered as moves with inv. They win versus a lot of moves, but can usually be punished in a lot of different ways (often with counterhit or crouching state starters).
Even blitz shield works in a similar way, even if a type of mindgame manifests itself on hit, whiff and when charging blitz attack.
:: The strongest defensive options: fuzzy abare/jump/block/throw!
Before we carry on it must be mentioned that fuzzies only are additional defensive options. You must first accept that mindgames will emerge because even these have weaknesses! However if you want to become really good at GG you need to know these.
Are all terms for a type of option-selects where you perform a series of inputs that begin with block that in GG primarily exploits how startup frames, hitstop, blockstun and throw inv frames work.
The areas of use are often specific, and are often used on wake up and specific situations in specific matchups.
They are however the strongest defensive options in GG because they reduce the risk involved in different decisionmaking situations.
> Fuzzy abare
= very strong in safejump-situations;
should preferably be done with a fast move that hits upwards
Shortly summarised fuzzy abare means doing:
Block – Hit – Block
where the timing of the hit is during blockstun of the first move the opponent would have a done.
This is done to (1) block and then (2) hit the opponent before certain moves/mixups have finished startup.
Example Ky (safejump okizeme from stundipper knockdown) vs Sol:
Dash-jump jS is a safejump setup after stundipper knockdown
– This means that doing VV is a bad option because it will be blocked (, but if they have tension Sol could ofcourse do VV RC).
– Ky can also do a classic high/low/throw from this jump-in.
Ky does stundipper, dashjump to:
(a)jS meaty, or (b) ad jS jH, or (c) empty jump-in 5K cS, or
(d) empty jump-in throw after throw invul. on wake-up has ended.
Sol answers with fuzzy abare!
– i.e. Sol blocks the timing of the meaty jump attack and presses 5K immediately after
– if he does this correctly the following happens
(a) Sol blocks, (b) Sol does 5K before jS comes out, (c) Sol does 5K before Kys 5K,
(d) Sol does 5K before Ky is able to throw
In this example fuzzy abare wins versus Kys entire (so called) mixup. If the Ky player doesn’t answer with something that wins versus fuzzy abare this never becomes a mixup!
Somewhat simplified you could say that you during fuzzy abare want a fast move that preferably hits upwards. (Sols is perfect because his 5K does just that and starts up in 3-5 frames).
For the invested: what Ky can do in this scenario is do stundipper dash-jump to air stun edge (to confirm, rc airdash combo). But if Sol would have done VV Sol would instead have gotten a counterhit and meterless pickup!
> Fuzzy jump
= block low and jump throws;
extra strong versus characters with command throws!
Shortly summarised fuzzy jump means doing:
FD block – Jump – FD block
where the timing for the jump is exactly before throw-inv ends after blockstun on the first move that the opponent does.
This is done to (1) block and then (2) jump away from the opponents throw before it has finished startup.
For example Potemkin (safejump setup from 2D)
After 2D Potemkin can do a safejump setup by doing forward high-jump jH.
– This means that it is a bad option to do a reversal srk because it will be blocked (, but if you have tension you can do VV RC)
– Potemkin can however do low or throw from this
Potemkin does 2D highjump to:
(a) jH meaty to 2K2D, (b) jH meaty to Potemkin Buster (c) empty jump-in 2K2D
Sin answers with fuzzy jump!
– i.e. Sin blocks at the timing of the jump meaty, does low FD, does up-back jump, to low FD immediately after, if he does this correctly the following happens:
(a) Sin blocks, (b) Sin jumps (and confirms to punish combo from the jump), (c) Sin blocks
In this example fuzzy jump wins versus this Potemkins mixup. Yet again if the Potemkin-player doesn’t add something to this string that wins versus fuzzy abare this never becomes a mixup!
Potemkin can e.g. do raw heat knuckle or delayed low, but if they start doing this it becomes riskier or alternatively gives them lower reward.
Somewhat simplified one could say that fuzzy jump is a strong option versus characters that need throws and it becomes extra strong for characters that can convert to combos with high damage
(Sin could e.g. get +200 damage when potemkin went for a potemkin buster)
> Fuzzy block
= blocking specific high-low mixups;
Shortly summarised fuzzy block means doing:
Low block – High block – Low block or
High block – Low block – High block
Where the timing between the shift depends on which mixup hits first.
This is done to (1) block and then (2) block the opponents initial move and then the following options
For example Ky’s (grinder charge stun-edge meaty okizeme):
– Ky does a charged stun-edge okizeme from a grinder-setup.
– Ky can do a classic high/low from this.
Ky does charged stun-edge yrc, grinder charge stun edge, dash forwardjump to:
(low) 5K cS, (high) airdash jS jH (jump-in) jS 5K
The player responds with fuzzy block!
– i.e. Player (1) blocks the timing of the jump meaty, (2) blocks low (that happens before the high mixup), (3) blocks high (at the timing that a jS would have hit), to (4) low/high block depending on what happened.
If done correctly the following happens:
(low) blocked, (high) blocked, (jump-in) blocked
To clarify you can look at this
rough frame-sketch that illustrates the events:
(low) ├──5K───── cS─── (Ky)
(high) ├──AD───── jS─── (Ky)
(jump-in) |jS───-─5K── cS─── (Ky)
(your input) |H── L───── H─-── (Your block)
(mixup) |H── L───── M/H── (Kys mixup)
For Ky to defeat this fuzzy block he must do another sequence that hits low (or high) when the opponent switches guard.
Somewhat simplified one could say that fuzzy block is a good option versus specific high/low-mixups.
> Fuzzy throw
= block low and throw a dashing throw;
you should preferably have a fast 5HS
Shortly summarised fuzzy throw means doing:
FD block – Throw – FD block
where the timing of the throw is exactly before throw-inv frames end after blockstun on the first move that the opponent does.
It is similar to fuzzy jump in other words, though not as strong versus command throws and it means greater risk (because you will always get 5HS if the throw whiffs). But if you are Sin with over 50% tension and think that Ky will go for throw after his safe jump it can be a good idea because sin gets a lot of damage from his throw in the corner.
It is worth to emphasize once again that these are only additional defensive options. You must still accept that they have weaknesses and mindgames will emerge!
Block – Hit – Block
= Very strong in safejump-situations!
= Preferably a fast move
with a good hitbox!
= Strong in specific situations
in certain matchups
FD block –
Jump – FD block
= Block lows
and jump throws!
= Good against characters with
= You get punish on whiffed throws!
= Costs tension!
Low – High –Low or
High – Low –High
= Very strong versus the classic mixup
(i.e. air-dash to an attack
with high mixup and land
to a low attack as a low mixup)
= Very strong versus
certain specific high-low mixups!
FD block – Throw – FD block
= Block low and throw dash throw!
= Should preferably have a fast 5HS!
= Higher risk (due to 5HS on whiff)!
= Costs tension!
Henceforth it isn’t that top-players have insanely good reaktionspeeds that they stop all your efforts, it is mostly because they have done their homework and learnt different types of fuzzies.
:: Fast and situational decisions
GG can be very fast sometimes. Sometimes you have to e.g. adlib combos that don’t give you that perfect meaty. Or maybe you just failed a timing so it came out late. Being able to separate “good meaties” from “bad meaties” is important because you can exploit this in different ways!
E.g. Ky has to jump immediately after recovery from stun dipper to achieve the safejump meaty.
If he is too late and you notice it you could
(1) airthrow, or (2) do a fast abare, before his planned deep airattack comes out.